‘This Was a Kill Operation’
But they'd have taken Osama bin Laden alive if he'd surrendered
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2011 12:47 PM CDT
This photo of a section of a poster taken from the FBI website shows Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo/FBI)
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(Newser) – US forces had no intention of taking Osama bin Laden alive, US officials confirmed today. “This was a kill operation,” an official tells Reuters, though he added, “If he had waved a white flag of surrender, he would have been taken alive.” Instead, bin Laden “participated” in a firefight with US forces, the official said, though he would not explicitly say that the terrorist leader had fired on Americans.

"US forces are never in a position to kill if there is a way to accept surrender consistent with the ROE (rules of engagement)," a senior Obama administration official said. "That said, I think there was broad recognition that it was likely to end in a kill." The sources also explained that the body was buried at sea so that there'd be no grave for adherents to venerate. "You wouldn't want to leave him so that his body could become a shrine," an official said. Click for more on his watery grave.